Arran Banner 20 years ago – week 06

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Saturday February 6, 1999

Castle clear up

The Friends of Brodick Castle have been hard at work this week preparing the castle grounds for their opening in April.

And there is so much to clear up following the devastation to the castle grounds by the Boxing Day storms at the end of last year. There are logs, twigs, fallen tree trunks, tangled brush and bracken everywhere. Some cleared from the west end of the castle this week may date from as far back as 1860.

These happy helpers do not actually cut down damaged trees but follow the main contractor, sawing the brush left into manageable bits and piling it on to bonfires, which give off a strong, but unusually sweet-smelling smoke.

Village stores and post offices around Arran may be eligible for relief of 50 per cent on their business rates.

Fighting back

With small shops all over the island fighting, what many think is a losing battle against the Co-op, this may look like a positive step in aiding the village shops fightback. But not every small shopkeeper may benefit.

The provisions apply to general stores and post offices in designated rural settlements, which includes all settlements on Arran. But does Muchie’s Stores in Lamlash, which has no post office, but must compete with Co-op stores in both Lamlash and Brodick qualify?

For this move towards helping the small shopkeeper to strike back is to have any impact, surely all stores on Arran, except the Co-op and possibily Alldays, would have to be eligible for rate relief.

Friends of Brodick Castle ahead of their clear up work. 01_B06twe01

The friends are hard at work clearing trees before burning them on bonfires. 01_B06twe02

Can you see your face in it yet? Rachel Phillips, Helen Boyd, Dorothy Cross and P3eggy Grundy prepare the copper for the new season at Brodick Castle. 01_B06twe03

New postmistress Naomi Paul settles behind her counter ready to serve stamps, advise on postage rates and deal with pension books. Four year old Naomi won this post office set last week in a Padraig Post competition. 01_B06twe04

Readers will have seen the odd colour picture creeping into 20 years ago pages. Clearly in 1999 colour photographs began being circulated with press releases, although the Banner was still printed in black and white, as was the case here with the launch of the new civil marriages guide by North Ayrshire Council. Seen here are Arran registrar Eileen Griffin with North Ayrshire’s principal registrar Sandra McGregor. The photo was by Stevenston photographer John Keachie, who is still to the fore. 01_B06twe05